Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lesson Learned: Time Lapse Part 1

Time Lapses have become very popular over the last couple of years. Today there is easy to use software, built in time lapse or interval timers and plenty of online tutorials. All of this has made making time lapses more accessible to the hobby photographer. As soon as I realized this was something that I could do with my current equipment, I was ready to go.

Well almost, there was a bit of a learning curve and I had to do my research. I did some tests and some more research. This isn't a time lapse tutorial, I don't think I'm quite ready to be writing one of those yet. When I become more proficient, then maybe I will write one. In the meantime, I thought I would share a couple of lessons I've learned along the way.
  1. Buy a battery grip or at least extra batteries. On my recent trip to Yosemite NP, I brought my brother's (Derek) D7000 camera as a second body. He had a battery grip and 2 batteries which, as it turns out, are the same batteries as my D600. The two extra batteries were very important.
  2. Buy an external intervalometer. My D600 has an interval timer built in but I found it to be unreliable. This issue is maybe a blog post of it's own, so I won't go into detail. But I found at times it wouldn't take the right amount of photos. For example, I set it to take 300 photos, but it counted down by 5. It went, 300, 295, 290, 285 etc.. On a couple of occasions it just stopped completely despite having plenty of battery and memory space. I've heard plenty of good things about the generic intervalometers and I'll probably go with the Satechi MTR-M. But I haven't tested it yet, so don't quote me on that.
  3. Buy extra memory cards. I had a 32g, two 16g and two 4g cards with me. I also had a 32g in my GoPro which I could pull if necessary. Derek's camera had another 16g card which I ended up using as well. This was a pretty short trip, so if I plan a longer trip next time, I will need more cards. I could have formatted, transferred to my Macbook and kept going, but I prefer not to format anything until I get home if I can help it. 32g & 64g SanDisk  are cheap next time I'll bring some extras. I found that on a 32g card I could get about 1000 photo's with my D600 in RAW mode. I tend to go for 300 image time lapses which gives me 10 seconds of video at 30fps. So you can see how just a few time lapses will fill a card.
I know this turned out to be a list of things to buy. But the good news is none of them are that expensive, especially compared to what we are used to when comes to photography gear. If you do decide to buy these products please purchase them through amazon via our links in the page or the search feature to the right. It help support Natural Vision Photography. Thanks!